Sunday afternoon strolling through Austin with a Sigma fp and not trying too hard to not try too hard...

I mentioned Sigma fp cameras the other day and that got me thinking that it had been long time since I tossed a battery in my fp and took it out for a spin. I've always loved the sharpness and the colors in the fp files and thought a nice way to relax and be calm would be to put a 45mm f2.8 on it and spend some quality time meandering around the central axis of the city. 

It was one of those days when I felt like I might want some options in the middle of the walk so I did something I rarely do; I took the smallest Domke camera bag off the hook in the equipment closet and loaded it up with a couple extra batteries (the Sigma likes to chew on batteries....) the small Sigma 24mm f3.5, an ancient Canon 50mm f1.8 FD lens+L adapter, the Leica TL2 (which I am trying hard....but not too hard...to enjoy more) the TTartisan 23mm f1.4 for the TL2 and some extra batteries for that camera as well. Since I was going to carry the bag anyway I thought I may as well also toss in my phone. I usually leave it in the car but I thought the Apple Pay feature might come in handy for some contactless consumerism. 

Of course I had overpacked and only used the Sigma fp and the 45 for the entire afternoon. I broke no new ground but I did have fun composing on the rear screen of the camera and letting myself slip into "dirty baby diaper hold" without feeling much shame or guilt. It's so funny. The TL2 probably has the better interface but I immediately took to the Sigma fp when I started using it while getting comfortable with the TL2 has been harder than I would have imagined. It did serve to help weigh the camera bag down and prevent it from blowing around in the breeze...

One thing I notice when using the Sigma fp without the big loupe for the rear screen is that I feel like such a goofy amateur standing around staring at the back of the camera that I don't even try to be quick and cool with my shooting but stand there moving the camera around a couple feet in front of my face until such a time as I feel the composition is just right. Now, in the comfort of my office, it's embarrassing how quickly I switched from "pro mode" to gleeful hobbyist. But I do have to say that it's pretty much fun to not have to act the part. 

Two people with bigger cameras than mine stopped to chat and give me a few "pointers" about doing "street photography." They were very earnest. They also pointed out places in the area I could go to get good shots. I guess they presumed that anyone looking at a rear screen needed some extra help. I thanked them and continued on. 

The fp is a fascinating camera in that it is perfunctory to use but then surprises one with wonderful, rich and highly detailed files. I gave up shooting in the square and reverted to 3:2 with the idea that if one of the frames needed to be cropped or converted to black and white I could just suck it up and do that in post. 

All in all it was a fun time out on the streets today. This is UT's graduation weekend so there were lots of graduates and their families out socializing and celebrating this weekend. Odd to see formal wear in burnt orange.... On to the images and their captions.

I have to admit that I'm a sucker for saturated colors.

Angry looking giant rabbit in front of the candy shop on West 2nd St. 
He's been there for years. Today is the first day I really found him to be threatening. 
Maybe it was something about the 45mm lens.

A new clothing store for women opened this week on 2nd. I have high hopes for their 
window design/merchandizing. 

I was on Congress Ave. and I found a wall of posters. Several were for a Tony Hawk movie.
He's a very, very famous skateboarder. Just by chance, as I got ready to click the shutter
this young man came speeding by on his board.

Private parties galore at the rental space at 8th and Congress. 
We were there last week for a fund-raiser. It looked totally different. 

And much less tacky. 

Remember back in the film days when you had a camera and there was an unfinished roll of film in it but you had no idea what was on the film? Well, when I picked up the fp today there was stuff on the memory card and I found I liked a bunch of the frames so I didn't reformat the card. This image of my
friend James is from weeks ago at the CookBook Cafe. Yeah. He's a great guy even if he 
does shoot with Sony....

I used to own an Element. Funny to think that was four cars back.
My friend Ellis still owns one. I wonder what he'll decide on next. 
Loved mine until the road noise got to me.... perfect interior space for a photographer. 

A second attempt. Nice colors.

Does the fp do "wide dynamic range?" You bet your ass it does. 
These images showed black in the interior, through the open window. 
A little judicious nudge of the shadow slider in raw opened up the 
interior to the point that it looked lit. Amazing. 

Wonders never cease in Austin. This is an autonomous food delivery robot. 
It was waiting patiently at the crosswalk. I decided to leverage my inconsistent 
humanity and jaywalk just to see if I could goad the device into cheating....

Next light rail train due? In hours and hours and hours.
This is Texas. We're still not good at all when it comes to 
mass transport.... God made Texas big so we could keep building parking lots.

Artistic interpretation of concrete.

The "just out of camera" look of fp black and white is pretty nice. 

Last shot of the day. A visual comment on the human condition. 
We're alone most of the time. Even when we're surrounded by people.